Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star

Randy Powell

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Grady is skateboarding toward a major decision

No longer able to live with his grandmother, fifteen-year-old Grady Grennan has to find a new address. one option is to move in with his mentally disabled half brother, Louie, in Seattle. But that poses a problem: Louie's adoptive mother, Vickie, and Grady are about as compatible as Mozart and heavy metal.

Nevertheless, Grady's testing the waters. He's in Seattle for a concert tribute to his and Louie's mother, a grunge rock icon who died three years ago. Grady has been invited to speak at the tribute, but what is he supposed to say to thousands of adoring fans about a mother who abandoned her sons in favor of a musical career?

Both humorous and deeply moving, Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star poses challenging, provocative questions to all sorts of readers -- cynics, liberals, slackers, and rock stars included.


Praise for Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star

"Grady Grennan-the likable fifteen-year-old son of Janis Joplin-like rock star Debbie Grennan, who abandoned him when he was seven and died from choking after overdosing on drugs and alcohol-relates what happens when he is invited to speak at a tribute in Seattle for his celebrity mother...A moving and memorable story with sharply etched characters." --School Library Journal

"Powell poses some provocative questions in this unglamorized, introspective look at the fringes of the rock-star scene. Grady, the 15-year-old narrator, returns to his hometown of Seattle three years after the death of his mother, famous hard-rocker Debbie Grennan, to speak at a concert performed in her memory. While there, he stays with his mentally handicapped half-brother, Louie, and Louie's born-again-Christian family. The half-brothers' artless conversations allow Grady time to reflect on Debbie's rise to fame as well as her self-destructive behavior."--Starred / Publishers Weekly

"Randy Powell never gives in to cheap thrills or pronouncements...Everything and everyone is written with concentrated intelligence and affection."--Hungry Mind Review

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Randy Powell

  • Randy Powell is the author of five novels, including Dean Duffy and Is Kissing a Girl Who Smokes Like Licking an Ashtray?, both ALA Best Books for Young Adults. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
  • Randy Powell Copyright Judy Powell



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Available Formats and Book Details

Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star

Randy Powell

American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • Trade Paperback